Exeter City Council has no idea how many people used the toilets of city centre business over the summer.
Councillors in April voted to close 15 of the 26 toilets that the city council operates and those toilets have since closed.
As well as the council having to make £60,000 of savings from its budget, councillors were not told that there would still be 11 public toilets available and there would be an abundance of publicly accessible alternatives in the city centre.
Proposals were also put forward for a community toilet scheme to be introduced that would allow the general public to use toilets in city centre businesses – although the majority of businesses did not support it.
Following the closures, Cllr Diana Moore asked questions at last Tuesday night’s executive meeting about usage levels, saying: “How many city centre businesses welcomed visitors who were not customers to use their toilets this summer?”
But in response, Cllr Phil Bialyk, leader of the council, said that they didn’t have any figures to that effect.
He said: “We would have to ask all the businesses who have facilities to keep a record and if they thought someone was a customer or not. I don’t think anyone records that information and in the larger stores over more than one floor, it would be very difficult to say, and I don’t think anyone has the resources to record that.”
Asking if public toilets would be part of the CityPoint scheme – the £300m redevelopment of the area around the bus station – Cllr Bialyk said that they would have to look at the planning proposals that came forward, and then it will be discussed at the time when they did.